There’s a reason why the best creative studios don’t look like traditional offices. While the finer interior details are determined by your company brand and employees’ needs, it ultimately has to be a space where people can get around a table, and share ideas and best practices.
When Covid-19 upended our working practices, we were reminded how much we missed having a physical collaborative space. But like many other organisations, we recognised the value of being able to work remotely too, which is why we introduced a hybrid working model – three days in the office, two at home. Some people, though not all, find being at home more conducive to hyper-focused deep work. It also cuts out their commute, helping them to achieve a better work-life balance. And from my perspective, it means we can widen our talent pool a little further to attract the best people for our team.
Having the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, at least some of the week, is something that many people now expect. So we’ve embraced it.
For 22-year-old Alicja Wlaszczuk, a junior designer here at Warbox, being able to work remotely meant she could return to her home country of Poland for a short spell to see her family, including her grandfather who has been unwell.
She grew up close to the city of Katowice in Poland – which, with its red-brick buildings and rich industrial and cultural history – bears a striking similarity to our own city of Nottingham.
Being immersed in the real world, and observing how it changes, is key for creatives, whether that’s the city where your office is based or what you see when you’re travelling. That doesn’t happen when you’re sitting at home every day with little interaction with people and places.
“My grandad’s medical facility was based in the Beskid Slaski mountain range – we went for a walk in amazing scenery surrounded by pine forests.
“Seeing different experiences and views helps with creative work and to gather new visual inspirations. When I came back to the office, I had one of my best ideas in brand design for a client, so it definitely had a positive impact.
“I felt so refreshed and ready to get stuck in, it was a quick trip but the change of environment and seeing my family did wonders.”
Of course, none of this would be possible if Alicja hadn’t already won our trust by delivering work to the highest standard, and through the relationships she’s built with the team by being here in person. Working from abroad – or fully remotely – will never be the norm for us but our policy can still be flexible, as long as it works for our clients and the business.
“Hybrid working is an ideal scenario where you get all the benefits of office working and working from home, it’s about choice and getting the best of both worlds. Although I prefer going into the office, working from Poland was a fantastic opportunity for me to see my family, while continuing to work in a different environment.”
As I said at the start, physical space is important to us, the building and environment in which we work helps define the agency. It’s part of our brand DNA. However, studios have always been places where junior team members learn from talented and experienced creatives, by assimilation, asking questions and working on projects. It’s here that you meet the eccentrics who come up with brilliant ideas and remind corporate clients why they have employed an agency in the first place. Being in that kind of environment encourages any member of the team, no matter where they are in their career, to speak up and share their ideas too.
That would all be lost if we were fully remote – but hybrid offers the right mix for us.